I’ve only met Kim Polese twice, the first time when Marimba was launching its highly publicized and poorly received Castanet push software. The second was last October at Pop!Tech 2003 www.poptech.org. I had forgotten all about Marimba which she informed me, had transformed into a healthy but (I thought) mundane IT resource management software developer. The first time, she had that rock star veneer that has ruined so many tehnology innovators. In the second, she displayed the presence one wants to see at the helm of a start up. I’m impressed in part, by her charisma and charm, but to a greater degree but her strength and CEO-level tenacity. Silicon Valley is supposed to be a haven for entrepreneurs and Polese, seems to me to be is among the best of breed in accomplishment and style. I’m happy that she leaves Marimba in good financial shape. I’m happier still that she is likely to re-emerge in early 2004 as an entrepreneur once again.
Dave Winer speculates in today’s SF Chronicle (hardcopy only-not on SF Gate Web site) that Polese is likely to show up in a social software company. To me that’s great news. Social Software is currently gaining steam with VCs who are using Rustoleum to unrust their purse strings for start ups in the category. IHowever, it seems to me that so far, each social software player that has arrived to prominence is flawed. There is ample room for someone with Polese’s talents and technology understanding to help the category reach its as-yet unfulfilled potential.